i was stuck in a blush rut for a long time, but lately the brands have been releasing a whole lot of pretty in the cheek department and i’m having a ball playing with all of it. i’m almost ashamed to tell you that i’ve narrowed it down to a select five (!) that are in constant rotation as of late. they’re each beautiful on their own and i’ve even discovered a few combinations that looks stunning when layered together. in short, these pops of color are helping me to survive the horrendous weather and to bring some much-needed brightness to my complexion.
bobbi brown uber pinks illuminating bronzer powder in pink peony, $38
bobbi’s illuminating bronzer powders have always been gorgeous. they are soft, sheer, and smooth and they add a touch of shimmer (but not too much) for a flattering glow. pink peony gives a natural pink flush and i love the “be bold” mantra tucked inside.
jane multi colored cheek powder in pink bouquet, $12
a silky blend of baby pinks, this powder has nourishing vitamin e in its formula. 90′s gals will surely remember this girl next door brand – and it’s back in a big way. this high-performing (petal-soft pinched cheeks!) affordably priced blush is just the beginning.
clinique cheek pop in plum pop, $21
be still my beauty-addicted beating heart! these sweet and petite gerber daisy-shaped blushes from clinique are seriously too cute. the formula here is creamy and bright – and i promise you won’t be able to help but smile every time you reach for it.
revlon highlighting palette in rose glow, $9.59
fans of bobbi brown’s shimmer bricks will delight in this drugstore version from revlon. beautiful neutral tones highlight and brighten in all the right places, while more precise application will help to define and contour. this formula is lightweight and extra lovely.
physicians formula bombshell powder palette in brunette, $12.99
physicians formula is my favorite go-to brand for fun, multi-colored blushes and they have not disappointed with their most recent release. the combo of peach, coral, and pink is easy to blend with a pretty finish that is pigmented and glowy.
i hate to complain about the cold, because really – what can you do? but, jeez louise it is cold. after the seventeenth day in a row of freezing my buns off running between appointments, errands, etc. it became clear to me that my skin was suffering. this is the kind of cold that sucks the life out of everything, and while it may be making us skinnier, it’s not doing our epidermis any favors.
so, imagine my delight, when in the timeliest of deliveries, this gorgeously thick and delicious moisturizer arrived on my doorstep from the good people at clinique. (note: i am using the “very dry to dry combination” formula.) normally i would take one look at a moisturizer made for “very dry” skin and run for the hills, assuming that it would cause breakouts galore – but these are desperate times.
i started slathering (and i do mean slathering) this stuff from hairline to bustline daily about a week ago and i am floored by how much better my skin looks and feels already. the angry winter breakouts i’ve been fighting are fading fast and the worsening redness that i’ve been experiencing has all but vanished. i was worried that a moisturizer this heavy would sit on my skin, but it soaks in quickly, leaving me grease-free, and my makeup glides easily over top of it. i can tell that my skin is balanced and happily hydrated all day long because there are no flakes, no dry patches, and no clogged pores. best of all, this moisturizer comes complete with spf 20 for protection from all of the elements.
i’m telling you that this is a moisturizer to adore, especially if your skin is not happy in this abnormally cruel winter weather. i appreciate clinique’s approach to skincare and love knowing that i’m putting top technology on my face each morning – and trust me when i say that the results are the proof in the pudding.
if you need to up your skincare game (again) for the polar vortex, give this one a go.
clinique superdefense daily defense moisturizer spf 20, $47 >
the holidays call for manicures galore and since i like to change things up fairly often, i’ve taken to doing my nails myself more often than sitting down at the salon. here are a few things making my diy manicure routine a little easier this season:
squeaky clean nail beds: in order to make my at-home-polish last through the shuffle, i have learned to start with extra clean nail beds. instead of using a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, i take one of my simple eye make-up remover pads and run it over all ten tips. each wipe is oil free with skin conditioners, so polish sticks but my nails don’t get dry and brittle.
metallic polish: we all know the pain of trying to remove sparkle-licious lacquers. (seriously, who has time for that nonsense?) select a metallic polish that will give you all the glamour of the season without committing you to a lifetime of glitter. from left to right: clinique indie rock ($12.50, ester lauder brushed gold ($20), butter london petrol ($15), rgb copper ($18).
maximize your mileage: i found this tip in january’s instyle and think it’s kind of genius. when, inevitably, your nails start to fade, dip the tip of a bobby pin into gold polish and neatly dot it on. if you love the look of bordeaux, navy, hunter, or black nails but can’t stand when they go drab, this is the perfect trick to keep them looking sharp.
keep it pretty: you can also file this one under “pretty gifty.” anthropologie’s adorable nidus nail care case ($38) holds four polishes perfectly in place. with coated canvas and spill-safe lining, you can tote your favorite lacquers in style. plus, can you imagine gifting this cutie to your best one (packed with a polish or two, naturally)? such a cute concept!
it’s time to get gifty, boys and girls! and i know that i cannot be alone in finding this to be my most favorite time of year. maybe it’s because all of the best beauty exclusives and makeup sets make their debuts in november, but there’s something about the magic of the season that really makes me happy.
this year, i’m compiling all of my favorite pretty gifts on pinterest but i’ll be sharing the best of the best here with you.
first up is three of clinique’s best selling (and most universally flattering) chubby sticks. the formula here is sheer and buildable, making it a user-friendly option for anyone from a makeup maven to a complete beauty novice. ladies of every age will delight in the packaging (that, incidentally? reminds me of my all-time favorite beauty product from the 90′s) and the price tag is sweet enough that you can make a big impact for one lucky friend who receives all three, or split ‘em up and share the love.
clinique whole lotta candy chubby stick lip set, $25 >
in the spirit of giving, i am smitten with clinique’s special edition nail enamel in happy ♥. the beauty of this hot pink red lacquer is that it delivers $3 to the happy hearts fund (on top of the $250,000 clinique has already donated) with every purchase. you can make someone happy by bringing this pretty shade into your nail wardrobe (or by stuffing the stocking of someone you love) through december 31, 2014.
clinique a dfiferent nail enamel in happy ♥ ($12.50) >
on sundays i do a weekly purge of the glossarie stash and archives. i move things from the “to be tested drawer” to my makeup basket, from my makeup basket to my “keep” drawer or into my donation bags. (everyone who comes over is forced to pillage and take what they wish. i’m also known to bring the bag to lunch dates and happy hours – it’s vicious.) inventory control is a major process, but i find that as i’m working through it each week, i discover new obsessions and i always find a few neglected old friends.
this week, i found four former glossarie favorites that i was so excited to rediscover. i promptly put all of them on as my face of the day, and popped them straight into the keep drawer.
stila countless color pigments in lyric, $22 – i discovered this at south moon under and it quickly became my go-to blush shade through the summer months. technically an eyeshadow, the light pink / peach combination has turned out to be a flattering cheek shade that i keep coming back to. (warning: go very light on the touch or you will look scary.)
make up for ever hd invisible cover foundation, $42 – nicole brought this foundation into my life nearly two years ago and it is still a favorite for photo shoot and event days. my skin just takes really well to it and i’m left with that no-makeup flawlessness that serves as the perfect canvas for the rest of my makeup. i love the perfect application and the long-wearing performance.
clinique bottom lash mascara, $10 – we’ve talked about it twice now, but i still cannot get enough of this stuff. something about that teensy brush and the gorgeous, smudge-proof formula makes it one of my all time favorites for going on three years. the look is long and fluttery, without a single missed lash. i’m partial to the black/brown shade because you can swipe it through your eyebrows in a pinch to fill things in.
soap & glory a great kisser in juicy peach, $10 – this one was found in the pages of lucky magazine and it is still a popular lip balm choice for me. it’s got a sweet peach flavor, a slight coral tint, and a tackiness to it that makes it adhere to my lips and lock in moisture. it feels amazing (hydrating, soothing), but it also makes my lips look shiny and full. and you know how much i love something that looks as good as it performs.
have you recently rediscovered an old beauty favorite?
sometimes i wonder why the beauty brands mess with perfection. formulas change, favorites disappear from shelves only to return revamped and far less fabulous. in the case of clinique, their world famous yellow moisturizing lotion has been a top seller with a serious cult following for eons, but i personally always felt that it was missing something. i loved the silky texture and the lightweight formula, but it tended to leave my skin feeling a little tight and a touch greasy at the same time. it just wasn’t a fit.
when news broke that clinique had re-engineered their old standby, i couldn’t wait to give it a test. you see, skincare technology has changed a lot over the years and it continues to evolve. clinique smartly upped their ingredient game to ensure that their loyal clients were getting the absolute best out of their favorite skincare product. with the addition of hyaluronic acid (holds moisture), glycerin (absorbs water from the air), and urea (helps skin moisturize naturally) skin enjoys major improvements in moisture. we’re talking all-day hydration without a drop of oil and actual improvement in barrier strength to keep moisture from evaporating.
i’ve been dedicated to the new and improved dramatically different since it arrived and i’m seeing far less redness, itching, breakouts, and dullness. my face looks and feels healthier, plumper. it’s less sensitive and because my moisture levels are nice and balanced, i’m not getting super shiny. it’s basically my new essential and i can now see why so many millions have relied on it for such a long time. i would highly recommend that you get to your local clinique counter and give this a test. i think you’ll find that its new modern technology delivers maximum benefits.
clinique dramatically different moisturizing lotion+, $26
it has taken me a long time to learn how to dress up my eyes each morning, but the little tricks i have learned over the years really make a big difference in brightening my face and polishing off my whole look. my go to eye wardrobe is soft, neutral and sparkly. here are the essentials that help me give the windows to my soul their own special treatment:
simple’s revitalizing eye roll on, $11
this is the first thing i put on my face in the morning and i let it soak in / work its magic while i straighten my hair. the cool rollerball de-puffs as it massages my under eyes while cucumber, b5, and glycerin work to wake up my sleepy peepers.
chanel precision eyelash curler, $34
superior shape and spongy pad have made this my holy grail lash curler for over a year now. combine the perfect curler with these tips that i learned from refinery29′s recent video with james vincent and my lashes have never looked better.
mac paint pot in painterly, $18.50
i put this creamy shadow / lid primer on whether i am wearing shadow or not, because it prevents my foundation from creasing. layering shadow overtop locks things down until you’re ready to remove. (at which point i might recommend these little beauties!)
josie maran argan beautiful nudes, $36
this shadow quad features rich neutrals and one shadow liner. the shadows offer a variety of finishes (matte, iridescent, satin) in beautifully coordinated nudes so i can create endless looks that always look good together. it totally takes the guesswork out of eye makeup!
sephora collection pro visionary lash fan brush, $18
finally! a brush designed to make tightlining easier. dip this mini fan into your favorite black cream liner and stamp it right into your lash line for precise and simple definition. it emphasizes lashes and also doubles as a lash separator. you need this!
clinique instant lift for brows, $16.50
the ultimate in finishing touches, this double-ended product from clinique houses a natural-looking pencil to give fullness and intensity to brows and a pearly highlighter that creates contrast and adds a magic lift to your arches.
you might remember miss caroline from this post from last april. much has changed in her world since we last saw her – she’s potty trained, she became a big sister, and she’s now in regular preschool. one thing that has not changed? her intense love for nail polish and painted nails. when i found out that caroline would be in town this week, i knew it would be the perfect chance to test clinique’s new ‘a different nail enamel for sensitive skin’ on her tiny fingertips. i went in armed with pinkini and we got down to business.
clinique’s enamel definitely doesn’t have the strong chemical smell that other bottles do and its formula is designed to be extra gentle for sensitive skin. (especially perfect for those under the tender age of three like my friend, above.) i was able to keep wiggly little caroline contained to get two coats on her and i was seriously impressed with how fast the lacquer dried – and thank goodness for that, because we had donuts to eat and patience is not our strong suit. when i asked caroline how her nails looked once they were dry, she looked up at me with a huge grin and said “pink!” i think we have a winner, here.
the new clinique nail polish collection comes in a ton of gorgeous glossy shades, including seven fabulous limited edition colors for summer 2013. bottles are $16 a piece and are sure to delight polish lovers of all ages.
shop clinique ‘a different nail enamel for sensitive skins’ ($16) >